Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Once Again, Teen Girls are Thought to be Idiots

Ally Carter said once that if she ever needed a huge heist done, she'd get teen girls to do it, since no group is so constantly underestimated at teen girls are.  I imagine the snarky little tweet that set my blood boiling about paranormal YA romances teaching teen girls to love monsters was intended to be humorous. Let me list for you the reasons that I am unable to entertain such a notion. 
1. This assumes that reading romance could only possibly teach you about falling in love with people like the book characters you read about.  So, if I read about military guys, or firefighters, I will no longer be able to fall in love with a lawyer or accountant without first reading a book about it.  As the wonderful posts at read a romance month have shown, romance novels contain many lessons within them, lessons about love, compassion, and expecting to be respected and treated well by those who love you.  I honestly have to wonder if the people who are constantly so threatened by this, worry they are unable to live up to this idea of love and respect. We could spend a lot of time discussing what may or may not be realistic about books, and goodness knows I'm not saying every book is perfect, but dismissing a whole subgenre because someone might get a bad idea reading one, is kind of insulting really.  Oh wait, not kind of.  Totally.  Totally insulting.  No one worries that reading too many mysteries might give you an unrealistic sense of justice. 
2. Paranormal romance is of course, only ever about boys with powers. Oh wait, it totally isn't.  Girls can be vampires, dragons, witches, werewolves and all those other things.  Anyone who had done more than glance in the general direction of the shelf in the bookstore would know that.  Just looking at the covers would make that clear.  But, silly me, I'm ruining the joke with facts. 
3. And the final assumption - of course only teen girls read paranormal romance.  Not boys.  Or adults.  Nope.  Couldn't be.  Unless of course we are somehow assuming that only teen girls will get wrong ideas because adults know that books are fiction and maybe boys do to, but teen girls, apparently don't understand that lesson until they are older.  Sure.
I know, it turns out there was a lot of assumption and misinformation packed into that tweet.  So, I did what I often do these days.  I bought some books until the rage went away.